Consumers may soon have a better idea about the chemicals in their household cleaning products they’re spraying, wiping, and mopping around their homes.
California this month became the first state in the country to require manufacturers of the products to list certain chemicals on labels for household cleaning products. The law, known as the Cleaning Product Right to Know Act of 2017 could bring more transparency to the industry and help consumers know whether products they buy contain chemicals that could harm their health and the environment.
The move comes amid concerns that some household cleaning products contain toxic chemicals that in large quantities could cause health problems. In the short term, these chemicals may cause skin and lung irritation. Some studies have linked regular exposure to long-term health problems like hormone disruption, asthma, and cancer.
Yet the labels don’t always show which ingredients are inside those colorful bottles.
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The new law requires manufacturers to disclose product ingredients on company websites by Jan. 1, 2020, and on product labels a year later.
Another industry organization, the Consumer Specialty Products Association, wrote in a statement that it “applauds” California Gov. Jerry Brown for signing the act, which “could potentially serve as a national model for other states and major retailers.”
Although the new law only covers the state of California, it will likely prompt manufacturers to include the labels on products shipped to all states. New York is also close to launching industry guidance that requires the disclosure of ingredients in home cleaning products sold in that state.
There is a good chance manufacturers will choose to roll out California-compliant labeling nationwide.
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